Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nancy Pelosi/Archbishop Niederauer UPDATE

Valerie Schmalz over at Our Sunday Visitor has an update on the continuing action/inaction between House Speaker Pelosi and the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

We all remember the scandal caused when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi went on "Meet the Press" and challenged Catholic teaching on abortion, back on August 24, 2008. Actually, I phrased that wrong. Because the scandal has not been addressed, we don't "remember it," we are still living it. It has not been defused, has not gone away, it poisons Catholics as we speak.

Pelosi's statements caused an unprecedented outpouring of true Catholic teaching from our American bishops. On September 4, 2008, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco invited her to have a conversation with him about the issue.

From today's OSV article:

“While she initially accepted the archbishop's invitation to a pastoral meeting, she has not been able to arrange such a meeting on her schedule, despite our putting forward several available dates,” said Maurice Healy, spokesman for the archbishop, in a Feb. 13 e-mail. Healy said the archdiocese also received “hundreds of e-mails and phone calls to the archdiocese from Catholics across the country” after Pelosi’s Jan. 25 comments to George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” in which she defended “hundreds of millions” in spending on family planning in the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus package.

“Archbishop Niederauer was on a pastoral visit to Vietnam and returned in early February. I have brought to his attention the reaction to Speaker Pelosi's comments,” Healy said.

That's good to hear. I would repectfully remind His Excellency that in his September 4 statement he said:

"It is my obligation to teach forthrightly and to shepherd caringly, and that is my intent."

God bless him, but His Excellency's duty to teach is not restricted to Speaker Pelosi alone, but to all the souls under his care. In this Archdiocese, he's our Father in faith. He can't help but teach, any more than a natural father can help teaching. He teaches something by reprimanding the Speaker for her incorrect action; he teaches quite something else by not reprimanding her for her incorrect actions.

Speaker Pelosi herself does not seem particularly impressed by His Excellency's invitation. From the OSV article:

"A Pelosi press spokesman said Feb. 13 that she did not know when or if Pelosi would meet with the archbishop or when Pelosi would respond to Our Sunday Visitor’s inquiry. Pelosi was scheduled to depart on an eight-day trip to Europe -- including a stop to meet Pope Benedict XVI -- the same day..."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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